Fourth wind farm proposed in Lewis County, solar included

The sun sets on a wind farm outside Lowville. Photo by Stephen Swofford, Watertown Daily Times.

The sun sets on a wind farm outside Lowville. Photo by Stephen Swofford, Watertown Daily Times.

A fourth wind farm — this one with an additional solar component — is now being planned in Lewis County on the Tug Hill Plateau. [Read more…]

May 2016 Cover Story: Economic Development

Securing a stronger future for the north country

COR Development’s Mercy Health Center Redevelopment project is set to begin its first phase of construction this summer on 30,000 square feet of commercial space and 108 apartments. Overall, the project will house 168 units and a community center on the grounds of the former Mercy Hospital in Watertown. Photo by Stephen Swofford, NNY Business.

COR Development’s Mercy Health Center Redevelopment project is set to begin its first phase of construction this summer on 30,000 square feet of commercial space and 108 apartments. Overall, the project will house 168 units and a community center on the grounds of the former Mercy Hospital in Watertown. Photo by Stephen Swofford, NNY Business.

Despite workforce challenges, regional economic development continues to power positive growth across Northern New York

By Karee Magee, NNY Business

A rural and historically challenged region where economic development was often stagnant, the Great Recession dealt a significant blow to New York’s north country as its counties saw a spike in unemployment and manufacturing jobs disappear, including about 600 from Jefferson County alone. [Read more…]

February 2016: People on the Move

New community manager at Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes

Josh Kennedy WEBJoshua Kennedy recently joined the staff of Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes as community manager for the Adirondack Creek community. [Read more…]

A well-powered region for a brighter tomorrow

Bob Burke, operations manager for EDP Renewables North America Eastern Region II, which includes Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County, stands on a service road last month at the wind farm. Future investments in electrical transmission lines will benefit projects  like Maple Ridge, which went into service in 2006. Norm Johnston/ NNY Business

Bob Burke, operations manager for EDP Renewables North America Eastern Region II, which includes Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County, stands on a service road last month at the wind farm. Future investments in electrical transmission lines will benefit projects like Maple Ridge, which went into service in 2006. Norm Johnston / NNY Business

Investments in infrastructure, renewable sources will help Northern New York grow as a leader in energy production [Read more…]

Lewis County: Maintenance of existing assets key

Growth in Lewis County, which tallied its population at 27,224 according to 2012 U.S. Census estimates, has historically been a story more fraught with the travails of manufacturing days gone by.

In 2013, the county lost about 70 manufacturing jobs with the closing of Interface Sealing Solutions in Croghan and Harrisville Dry Kiln plant.

“Manufacturing is very difficult in this county — we just hope to maintain what we have,” Richard H. Porter, executive director of the County of Lewis Industrial Development Agency, said.

Nonetheless, Otis Technologies, Lyons Falls, was last month awarded a $39.2 million Army contract to supply weapons cleaning kits through Sept. 23, 2016, which the company says could result in additional jobs.

The most active new development in the county are wind projects at Roaring Brook, slated for completion in the spring, and the Copenhagen Wind Farm, slated for operation in late 2014 or early 2015. Neither project, though, will create more than 10 jobs after construction, Mr. Porter said.

“We’re fighting to survive,” Mr. Porter said. “We’re not located close enough to Fort Drum for it to impact the county.”

Maple Ridge Wind Farm, a prominent 12-by-3 mile stretch of land off Route 177 through the towns of Martinsburg, Lowville, Watson and Harrisburg peppered with 195 wind turbines and built about seven years ago, has also been a success story for the county. It has the capacity to produce enough power for 96,000 homes. The project also brought more than $55 million into the local economy, creating roughly 400 construction jobs and 35 full-time local jobs. In addition to millions in annual tax payments landowners involved receive $1 million in annual revenue.

Agriculture, particularly dairy, will always be the county’s top industry and is stable; the local foods movement gaining traction doesn’t necessarily create jobs, but helps retain agriculture jobs, Mr. Porter said. He added that infrastructure limits Lewis County’s ability to grow, particularly the fact that it doesn’t have much excess capacity for water and sewer.

-Leah Buletti